How to Bathe a Baby-An ultimate guide
Essential for the hygiene of the little one, the bath is a moment of great bond between a mother and her child. But it will be even more so if you adopt the right gestures i.e., temperature, frequency, position, and precautions. Here, we tell you everything about the newborn's bath.
The baby bath, how often?
It is best not to bath an infant more than once a day (except in the event of a minor accident, of course). Over-bathing, a baby, can irritate the skin over time. It is advisable to bathe daily or even every other day, in the evening or the morning, according to his sleep rhythm. Set aside a long time in front of you, to make the time pleasant.
The baby bath then makes a comforting ritual and helps your child relax and sleep peacefully.
He's scared of water, what do I do?
Some babies love water; others are more fearful. Normally, the sensation of water is familiar because, before birth, the baby spent nine months bathed in amniotic fluid. However, some people get blocked during the first few weeks after birth. The bath can then become a real ordeal. It can take just one bad experience (water too hot or too cold, soap in the eye) for water to be associated with this unpleasant memory. Baby's refusal can also stem from a feeling of insecurity if it has been badly supported once.
> This is why it is essential to have firm gestures and have confidence in yourself: baby will feel it and be reassured. You can start with short swims (5 minutes), which will lengthen as he feels comfortable there.
Preparations for the bath
- Remember to preheat the room:
The ideal temperature is 22/23 ° C in your bathroom. We always run the water in the tub before immersing the baby. This saves him from waiting in the cold or scaring him with the sound of the tap. The water should be around 36/37 ° C. Check it with a thermometer or with your elbow.
- Small practical tips:
If the changing table is outside the bathroom, place a thick towel or changing mat near the tub. We can undress and a dry baby on the mattress to avoid the stress of transport and the risk of falls. To give it its bath, opt for a hard plastic tub, adapted to the size of the child, or a bathing lounger if your baby is less than 8kg and 70cm. Also, remember to remove your jewelry so as not to scratch the fragile skin of your little one when giving it a bath.
- The necessary equipment :
Everything must be available when the baby is in the bathtub. You can prepare a small basket with each product necessary for his toilet: soap, shampoo, washing baby clothes, towel or bath cape, spare linen, clean diapers, accessories, and toys. Do not hesitate to put suitable toys in the water to distract him, to make the bath a real moment of pleasure and play.
- The soap :
Prefer a hypoallergenic and soap-free product or a surgras dermatological soap. And preferably without paraben (very common substance but suspected of being carcinogenic). Opt for a mild shampoo, and especially one that does not sting the eyes.
It's bath time!
Everything is ready. You can now get your baby.
Before putting your baby in the water, clean his seat well after taking off his diaper.
Never leave the baby unattended and hold it throughout the bath. A baby can drown even with less than 4 cm of water. So be constantly vigilant! Hold your baby in one hand and have everything you need close at hand.
In the bath!
- First, let the baby know its bath time. As you move, do not hesitate to explain to him what you are going to do.
- To soap: Baby can be soaped either on the changing table or directly in water. By undressing and soaping him, keep in touch with a baby to reassure him: one hand on his stomach, on his forehead. You can also take the opportunity to name all the parts of his body by inviting him to participate. The soft baby washcloths are a good choice (which you will change regularly), but especially no sponges, they are nests for germs. Wash from the cleanest to the dirtiest (usually the buttocks) to avoid contaminating the child with germs (especially feces). Remember to clean well under the folds of the skin, as well as the head with each bath, because up to 3 or 4 months, the child sweats a lot.
- You should avoid wetting his face so as not to stress him. To wash babies' hair, you simply run your hand over your head, sending the water back. Reserve the facial wash for after.
- Your gestures should be gentle but firm. Your child will feel confident. Be careful always to support the baby when he is in the bathtub. To maintain it properly, place your left arm (if you are right-handed) under the child's chest, squeezing their left forearm in your hand. Your right hand will be free to soap the body.
Be careful, during the bath, pay attention to baby, and only for his safety! No question of going back and forth to look for soap, milk for change or the toy in the room, or worse, answer the phone (unplug it or put it on silent before the bath so as not to be disturbed ). Know that babies can drown in 15 cm of water in just a few seconds.
- Be careful with Q drying: the baby is gently dabbed with the towel. The ideal: opt for a hooded bathrobe or a bath cape so that it does not catch a cold in the head. As with baby's clothes, it is best to wash your towels with a detergent specially designed for their sensitive skin in order to protect them as well as possible.
- If the bathroom is well heated, a quick massage of the infant's skin can be done with fragrance-free oil. You can also opt for a protective moisturizer to apply after each bath.
If you are stressed out on how to bathe a baby, do not hesitate to ask for advice, your family and friends who have been there will be happy to help you!